Microsoft’s Xbox 360 may soon be equipped with an internal Blu-ray drive, according to Sony Electronics President and COO Stan Glasgow. The revelation comes just two weeks after Microsoft stopped manufacturing its Xbox 360 HD-DVD player add-on and began offering deep discounts on the HD-DVD peripheral.
Talking with the Financial Times, Glasgow said his company is talking with both Microsoft and Apple to add Blu-ray drives to their hardware. Such a move would earn Sony royalties on every Xbox 360 sold, a first for the game industry.
But not so fast, says Microsoft.
According to a Microsoft spokesperson, “We have made no such announcement. Games are what are driving consumers to purchase game consoles, and we remain focused on providing the largest library of blockbuster games available.”
Saying that Microsoft has “made no such announcement” isn’t exactly a resounding denial that the company’s talking with Sony about equipping the Xbox 360 with a Blu-ray drive. However, it’s also not a confirmation, so don’t get hot and bothered just yet.
If such a Blu-ray addition were to happen, it would make the most sense to include a Blu-ray drive in the Xbox 360 Elite model, which includes HDMI output and can therefore transfer a full 1080p picture to HDTVs.
A Blu-ray-equipped Xbox 360 would remove one of the competitive advantages Sony’s PS3 currently has over Microsoft’s Xbox 360. But, Sony might be willing to concede that advantage if it were making royalties on each Xbox 360 sold.
However, considering how nasty this generation’s console war has grown, such an addition might make more sense for the next version of the Xbox, affectionately referred to by gamers as the Xbox 720.